Authors
Philip A. Ebert
University of Stirling
Simon Robertson
Cardiff University
Abstract
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that mountaineering may actually be worthwhilebecause ofthe risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms ofhow riskymountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve arejustified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering oftenisjustified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified byandbecause ofthe risks it involves.
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DOI 10.1017/s1358246113000271
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References found in this work BETA

Nature and Risk in Adventure Sports.Kevin Krein - 2007 - In M. J. McNamee (ed.), Philosophy, Risk, and Adventure Sports. London ;Routledge. pp. 80.
Climbing: Because It's There – Stephen E. Schmid.Dudley Knowles - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):887-890.

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Citations of this work BETA

Varieties of Risk.Philip A. Ebert, Martin Smith & Ian Durbach - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):432-455.

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